Blastitude Number Six
   ISSUE #6             MARCH, 2001

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"Blastitude" is a word coined by Angus MacLise, original drummer of the Velvet Underground and quite possibly the coolest hippie of all time. (cf. track four of his posthumous CD release The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda, released by Siltbreeze/Quakebasket. Click HERE for immediate cf'ing.)

(but who is Bartislov Alvarez?)

Blastitude #6, a bit shorter this month...

skip this here letters page


this month, two letters about the same guy, the one and only Alexandro Jodorowsky!

I'm up and down with Jod, I've tried to write critical essays about the guy...I think the first 30 minutes of the Holy Mountain are great, and really the whole movie is great, but I think El Topo is overrated, and in all of his movies there's this undercurrent of because-it's-there sadism and try-anything symbolism that just seems kind of...slutty?

Phil from Betley also taped me The Holy Mountain, and completely put it into perspective for me with one delightful (and pithy phrase): "Bascially, Jodorowky is more of a showman than a shaman." The first few times you see his films are kind of mind blowing, but the tricks get real obvious real fast. I've only seen El Topo once, and there's something to be said for that, since I've watched Holy Mountain a good 15-20 times. I too found El Topo boring and way overrated...I rented and had the chance to tape it, and I didn't even bother!

A friend once called Jod a "symbol slut" and it seemed right (never met a symbol he didn't like or try to use in a film...or to put it another way....why have a half-naked paraplegic woman walk down a busy quasi-futuristic city street alone when she could be walking down the same street hand-in-hand with a chimpanzee? Okay, she wasn't paraplegic, but I'm surprised she wasn't...)

A long time ago, I read a book on cult movies that mentioned that Jodorowsky also put out a book of El Topo (not to mention a soundtrack album that doesn't have any of the same music as the movie, but that's another story) where he explained all his symbols, including a ton that most people might not think of (a scene with two people washing themselves in a pond supposed to be two hands washing themselves. What???), and many more that aren't even on-screen, but are no doubt replicated by the actors ("El Topo wears a pair of black undergarments, with a green circle where corresponding to the position of his anus, stitched into the fabric..." Fucking verbatim, I swear!). Of course, the fact that HE understands his symbols does not make them any more meaningful, I don't think. They still come off as showy and ultimately non-satisfying, nearly as meaningless and non-referential as the religious images and symbols he seems to want to smash down and replace. It's like the destruction of one type of religon/mythology for a non-dissimilar one, just more garish. Another neat trivia not about Phil Todd: I asked him what the significance of using the "10 whores and a chimpanzee" shot from The Holy Mountain on every Green Monkey record. He replied, "well, there's a monkey in the picture." Touche.

Of course, these are the things responsible for the great stuff in his films too, so...and El Topo looked fantastic but I just couldn't stand it's slow portentous pace...

Indeed. It really bogs itself down and takes an almost Tarkovsky approach, as in, "Look at this landscape. Isn't it important? LOOK AT IT!! LOOK AT IT SOME MORE! THIS IS IMPORTANT, GODDAMMIT!" Not that I have anything against (what I've seen of) Tarkovsky, just saying the with Jodorowsky, it doesn't work so well. "Yes, yes, I'm looking at a desert. Yes, the boy just threw his mother's picture away. Yes, how moving. Oh, there's the picture again."

and really what made the Holy Mountain wasn't writing or direction so much as it was SET-BUILDING...incredible sets in that movie!

Both on an image level and a set level, the roomful of plaster Jesus' was pretty rockin', for sure. Though I can't help but think of the scene in Kubrick's _Killer's Kiss_, with the final showdown in the mannequin factory. Now THERE was a good use of a roomful of fake limbs! On guard! At this point, I pull out The Holy Mountain (and Santa Sangre, which is pretty good as well, I think) once and a while to just watch them, but I tend to pull them out more to inflict them on people who haven't seen it, but decide to tell me that Natural Born Killers is the "most extreme thing" that's ever been put on a movie screen. Tell you what, though...I still wish he had been able to go ahead and do the film version of _Dune_ he was planning. Did you know he was planning on doing a movie version of Dune back in 1978? Best part about was supposed to have Salvador Dali (the man himself!) in a cameo role as God, and music by Magma and Pink Floyd (the two opposing armies theme musics, I think)!!! Of course, Dali was asking a million dollars a day to film, and with Jod's high flying budges as it was, the thing got sunk before word one of filming could begin. I think that's when he went on to do the elephant movie...uh, _Tusk_, was it called? Coulda got Fleetwood Mac to do the music for that one. Hell, maybe "Tusk" is a rejected theme song to the Jodorowsky movie, just like Neil Diamond's "Turn On Your Heart Light" is a rejected theme to _E.T._?


I don't think anything too terribly exciting has been going on since the last group mail. I believe the weekend after said letter, I went to Angouleme, France to play a show with these two guys who I've been helping out since shortly after we got here. They're both comic book artists (quite famous here, I guess) and they play music together on the side. So, they were invited to play at this comic book festival in Angouleme, which is the biggest festival of this kind in France (200,000+ people--maybe one of the biggest in the world). It's much different here than in the U.S. There really aren't the same stereotypes with such events in this part of the world. There were families and couples intertwined with the pony-tailed, pimply, geeky guys and they all sifted through the mess of people crowding between the comic-erotica, the ironic/hipster comics, and the sci-fi. This may be why Robert Crumb lives in the south of France. That hip and sophisticated european audience! Anyway, I had a great time seeing the festival and the town of Angouleme and get paid a little money to do so. By the way, I was in the company of Alexander Jordorowski (legendary underground (yet ridiculously over-the-top) filmmaker/comic guy)--I didn't actually see him, but got taken to a few free meals by his publisher (the same publisher as Charles, one of the guys I was playing with) and got to hear a lot of stories about how much of a prick the guy is. At last year's festival, Jordorowski was trying to set up (Charles's partner) Phillippe's girlfriend with his 25 year old son, while Phillippe was standing there. So, in light of their feelings about him, I didn't show much interest in meeting him.


BLASTITUDE will be published on the 23rd of each month...or every other month. We're not sure yet. If we go monthly, some issues may be kinda slight, but back issues will always remain online. Since the 'fast-paced' web isn't supposed to be for reading, and Blastitude offers lots of reading, it might take you two months to get through all this bullcrap anyhow. Either way, thanks for blasting in. (If this is cyberspace, rather than, um, the cybersea shouldn't we be 'blasting' around the internet, like in rockets or spaceships, instead of 'surfing' the net?)
Letters, recommendations, complaints, submissions:
Any music/tapes/books/artifacts/records/documents for consideration should be mailed to Blastitude at 1136 A Street #2, Lincoln, NE 68502

editor, designer, collater, curator, writer: Larry "Fuzz-O" Dolman
Koko by Jack Jackson
Only Seat in the House by Christopher Dean Heine
artwork on page 4 by Bryan Day

BLASTITUDE #6 © 2001
Published by Tiny Press








To browse through all five previous issues of Blastitude so far, check out the MASTER LIST. To check out this ish first, check out this:

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next, this week's lead story:
dudes relatin' to pettibon



KOKO by Jack Jackson